Experience a spiritual journey as you trace the life of Jesus and His Mother, Mary, in the Biblical lands of Israel;  With Daily Mass at Holy Sites

Day 1 - Depart USA  / From JFK (base airport) to Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv

DAY 2 - NOV 04 (MON) – Arrive Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Caesarea Maritima, Mass at Tiberias

  • Arrive Tel Aviv. Tour group will be met at the airport and assisted with arrival procedures. Only 1 bus pickup. Depending on arrival times & time permitting, the group will optionally visit.

  • Jaffa (Joppa) – Drive to the city of Joppa for lunch, where the prophet Jonah embarked for his fateful encounter with a whale (Jonah 1:3);

  • Drive to Caesarea Maritima, built by Herod the Great in 22 BC, ancient center of Roman governors including Pontius Pilate, where St. Peter baptized the first Gentile convert (Cornelius) and where the Romans held Paul prisoner. Marvel at the well-preserved Roman Theater, the fortress, the Harbor, and the Roman Aqueduct.

  • Drive to Tiberias for Check-in and dinner at our hotel in Tiberias

  • Late Mass celebration at Mount Beatitudes Chapel after dinner.

DAY 3: NOV 05 (TUES) – Mass at Mount Carmel/Stella Maris Convent, Aker, Mount of Beatitudes, Tabgha, Scenic, Peter’s Primacy, Boat Ride at Sea of Galilee

 

  • After early breakfast, head towards Haifa through the Carmel Mountains and visit the Stella Maris Convent at Mt. Carmel (the largest Carmelite Monastery) Celebrate Mass at Mount Carmel - we will renew our scapular promises and be invested in the Society of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. (Please bring your own brown Carmelite scapular); Visit Elijah’s cave, where the prophet occasionally lived; It is in Mount Carmel where Elijah defeated the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18);

  • Enjoy panoramic views overlooking the city of Haifa & Baha’i Garden;

  • Step back in time in the ancient Crusader city of Acre (UNESCO site);  

  • Drive to back to Tiberias, listen’s to Jesus’ words from His Sermon on the Mount at Mount of Beatitudes;   

  • Visit Tabgha, the fruitful garden where Jesus fed 5000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish (Mark 6:30-46), we shall see the mosaic commemorating the miracle of this multiplication in the nearby Chapel;

  • Visit the Church of Peter’s Primacy (John 21:16). Here on the shore of Galilee, Jesus appeared to the Apostles after His resurrection and confirmed Peter in the role as Vicar of Christ with the words, “Feed My Sheep”.  The rock emerging from the center of the church is the actual table at which they ate breakfast;

  • From here, we will proceed to the Museum of the Ancient Boat and then take a sunset, scenic boat ride across the Sea of Galilee. Enjoy the beautiful Sea of Galilee! We will sing/dance to praise and worship our Lord! Jesus was seen walking on this sea.

  • Dinner & Overnight at Tiberias;

 

DAY 4 - NOV 06 (WED) – Mass at Basilica of Annunciation-Nazareth; Holy Family House, 

Mary’s Well; Synagogue, Cana, Mount Tabor,

Capernaum, Yardenit

  • Drive to Nazareth, celebrate Mass at the Basilica of Annunciation – where the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her that she would become the mother of the Son of God; And here Mary uttered her FIAT: “Let it be done to me according to your word.”; The lower level of the Church of the Annunciation enshrines a sunken grotto that contains the traditional cave-home of the Virgin Mary.

  • Visit St. Joseph's Church & cave house of the Holy Family – the church is built over the carpentry workshop of the husband of the Virgin Mary.

  • Visit Mary's Well – where Mary would fetch water for the Holy Family is inside the Church of Angel Gabriel; Visit the Synagogue –where Jesus first learned, prayed & later preached as a young man

  • Visit Church of Cana & celebrate renewal of marriage vows for married couples, the traditional site of Jesus’ first miracle (changing water into wine during a wedding feast), at the request of Mary. It was here also that He blessed marriage and raised it to the dignity of a sacrament. Married couples: you may renew your marriage vows as a lasting remembrance of this holy site and p bring a nice attire to commemorate this lasting occasion. Wine tasting after ceremony.

  • Visit Mount Tabor, traditional site of Jesus’ Transfiguration and see the beautiful Basilica and the rock under the altar where the Transfiguration took place. It is here where Jesus’ revealed His Divine Glory to the apostles (Matt 17:2).  

  • We will then visit Capernaum, where Peter lived and where Jesus began his public ministry (Matt. 4:13) and performed many miracles. There he began teaching in its Synagogue, cured a leper, healed the centurion’s servant, cast out a demon from a young boy, healed all that were sick (Matt 8:16) and including the fever in Simon Peter's mother-in-law (Luke 4:31-41). This village became Jesus’ adopted home in Galilee (Mark 2:1). This is also the site where He called his first disciples: Peter, Andrew, James, John and Matthew. Three years was the center of Jesus’ public ministry.

  • We will then travel south to the Baptismal site of Yardenit on the Jordan River to renew our baptismal vows in the same river where Our Lord was baptized by River (Mark 1:9). Each year, pilgrims from far and wide come to the place of Baptism to immerse themselves in these Holy Waters. The Bible tells us that the children of Israel crossed the River Jordan opposite Jericho when they came to the Promised Land. Naaman, the Syrian dipped in the waters seven times and was cured of his leprosy. Baptismal robes & are available for rent or for sale (additional fee). Baptismal certificate will be given out for those who will renew their baptismal vows

  • Drive back to Hotel; Dinner & overnight

DAY 5 - NOV 07 (THURS) - Mass at Bethany beyond Jordan, Masada, Qumran, Floating at Dead Sea

 

  • Early checkout from our hotel and depart after breakfast.

  • We drive to the former palatial fortress of Masada (UNESCO); Ascend the fortress by cable car overlooking the Dead Sea which was a symbol of resistance for the people of Israel and visit the ruins of Herod’s Palaces, the Roman Camp and the Synagogue; Once a palatial refuge for this massive plateau on the eastern edge of Judean desert is better known as the location of a Roman siege against Jewish rebels. The view across the 450 meters below is spectacular;

  • We continue through the Judean desert and along the western shore of the Dead Sea stopping at Qumran – where the Dead Sea scrolls;

  • At the end of the day we will enjoy floating in the mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea, renowned for its minerals and healing properties. Please be sure to bring water/closed end shoes, as the bottom surface can be rough. It is set in the lowest dry land on earth, so it has no outlet. It is so loaded with minerals that no fish can live in it. Enjoy the experience of floating on the Dead Sea.  Also enjoy the Dead Sea mud as facial mask and body rub. It is known for anti-aging, anti-wrinkles, deep cleansing, leaving your skin with a glow of youthfulness and cleanliness. 

  • Check-in at our Hotel at the Dead Sea for dinner & overnight

DAY 6 - NOV 08 (FRI) – Jericho, Mass at Church of St. Lazarus; Bethlehem, Shepherd’s Fields

  • After breakfast, we depart for Jericho, the oldest known city in the world conquered by Joshua;

  • Stop by the Sycamore Fig Tree where Zaccheus climbed to see Jesus.

  • Take an optional Camel Ride for a memorable experience and photo shoot with Mt. of Temptation as the backdrop.  

  • Drive to Bethany, a favorite rest place and refuge for Jesus & hometown of Mary and Martha, and where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. Here we will celebrate Mass in the Church of St. Lazarus.

  • Depart Jericho and continue to Bethlehem;

  • We will drive to Shepherd’s Fields where the angels appeared to the shepherds who were watching over their flocks during the night and announced the birth of Jesus.

  • Check-in at our hotel at Casa Nova, Bethlehem

  • Enjoy a Welcome Dinner treat in a tent restaurant

  • Return to our hotel for overnight.

 

DAY 7 - NOV 09 (SAT) – Mass at Church of Nativity, Milk Grotto, Ein Karem, Church of Visitation, Church of John the Baptist

 

  • After an early breakfast, we will celebrate Holy Mass at St. Jerome’s Chapel inside the Nativity Church

  • After Mass, visit the Grotto of Nativity, the birthplace of our Lord; The place of Christ’s birth is a dimly-lit rock cave. Instead of a star above, a 14-point silver star on the marble floor of the Grotto of the Nativity bears the words “Hic de Virgine Maria Jesus Christus natus est” (Here Jesus Christ was born to the Virgin Mary)

  • Visit Church of St. Catherine (of Alexandra) where Midnight Mass is celebrated. St Catherine was a martyr, tortured and beheaded at the age of 18 by orders of the emperor Maximian (her father) for challenging him on the persecution of Christians and worship of false gods. 

  • Visit the Caves of St. Joseph & St. Jerome - beneath the Church of Nativity, St. Jerome spent 30 years translating the Scriptures from Hebrew and Greek into Latin. The text he produced in St Jerome’s Cave was the first official vernacular version of the Bible. Known as the Vulgate, it remained the authoritative version for Catholics until the 20th century. St. Joseph’s Chapel, is the site in which an angel warned Joseph to take the Holy Family to Egypt;

  • Visit the Milk Grotto. While Mary and Joseph were fleeing Herod’s soldiers on their way to Egypt, they stopped in this cave while Mary nursed the baby Jesus. A drop of Mary’s milk fell upon the stone and it turned white. The grotto has been a shrine of veneration since the 4th century. It is especially frequented by new mothers and women who are trying to conceive. By mixing the soft white chalk with their food, and praying to Our Lady of the Milk, they believe it will increase the quantity of their milk or enable them to become pregnant.

  • We head into the hill country, to the city of Ein Karem, the birthplace of St. John the Baptist, to visit the Church of Visitation where Mary visited the home of Zachariah and Elizabeth and proclaimed the 'Magnificat' (Luke 1:39-80).

  • Visit the Church of John Baptist, his birthplace.

  • Dinner and overnight at Casa Nova, Bethlehem

 

DAY 8 - NOV 10 (SUN) – Jerusalem: Mt. of Olives, Church of Ascension, Church of Pater Noster, Church of Dominus Flevit, Garden of Gethsemane, Mass at Church of All Nations, Rock of Agony

  • After early breakfast, we check out from our hotel, depart Bethlehem and drive to Jerusalem to the top of Mount of Olives for a panoramic view of Jerusalem for a better understanding of its geography and some of the key sites surrounding the area.

  • Visit the Church of the Ascension, the site marking the place where Jesus is believed to have ascended to heaven.

  • Continue to the Church of Pater Noster, where Jesus taught his disciples how to pray the Lord’s Prayer. On walls around the church and its vaulted cloister, translations of the Lord’s Prayer in 140 languages are inscribed on colorful ceramic plaques.

  • Then we walk on the Palm Sunday road; view the Eastern/Golden Gate from the Jewish Cemetery.

  • Continue to walk to the Church of Dominus Flevit, where our Lord wept over the future fate of Jerusalem. Looking down on the city, Jesus wept over it as he prophesied its future destruction.

  • We will continue to walk to the Garden of Gethsemane, containing Olive Trees, the roots of which go back to the time of Jesus.  Adjacent to it is the “Rock of Agony”, where Jesus uttered his last prayer.

  • Visit the Church of All Nations to pray and celebrate mass at the “Rock of Agony” where Jesus prayed alone in the garden on the night of His arrest. Spend some time in reflection and meditation inside the dim lit church. The church is also called the Basilica of Agony.

  • After Mass, we will have a group picture with Old City Jerusalem and the Dome of the Rock on the background.

  • We will visit the Israel Museum to visualize the Old Jerusalem during the peak of its power, and where we will look at the outdoor scale model of the ancient city and also where the Shrine of the Book & Dead Seas Scrolls are on display.

  • Check-in & dinner at Notre Dame Hotel, Jerusalem

 

DAY 9 - NOV 11 (MON) – The Passion of Jesus: Via Dolorosa, Mass at Holy Tomb, Holy Sepulcher, Calvary, St. Anne’s Basilica, Pools of Bethesda

 

  • Today, we will start very early morning at 4:30 AM retracing the last steps of Jesus at Via Dolorosa (Way of the Cross) at the Judgment Hall, Antonia Fortress, where Jesus was condemned to death by Pontius Pilate. From there He was taken through the city to be crucified. We reflect on the greatness of his sacrifice as He bore the burden of our sins on the Cross at Golgotha. We will stop at each of the Fourteen Stations of the Cross: Chapel of Condemnation & Flagellation, Ecce Homo (Crowning of Thorns), the Polish Chapel, Armenian Catholic Chapel, Veronica’s House, etc.  until we reach the Church of Holy Sepulcher.  The Stations of the Cross lead, through the markets of the Old City to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

  • After the Stations of the Cross, we will have an early morning Mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher at the Holy Tomb.

  • After Mass, we will tour the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which houses Calvary/Golgotha, Rock of Calvary, the Burial Tomb of Jesus, Stone of Anointing, Chapel of St. Helena, Chapel of Adam, Chapel of the Nailing of the Cross, Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene, Chapel of Flagellation Column, etc.  Spend some time here for prayer and reflection.

  • We will return to the hotel for breakfast.

  • After breakfast, we will visit St. Anne’s Church, the birthplace of the Virgin Mary and the home of her parents Saints Joachim and Anne.

  • Visit the Pools of Bethesda next to the Church, which is the scene of one of Jesus’ miracles, the healing of the paralyzed man who had waited for 38 years for someone to help him into the pool “when the water is stirred” an event believed to have curative powers. The Gospel account says Jesus told the man, “Stand up, take your mat and walk”, and immediately he was made well (John 5:2-18).

  • Visit the Tomb of Mary - a large crypt containing the empty tomb of Mary is inside the dimly lit Church of the Assumption. The name of the Church of the Assumption reflects the Christian belief that Mary was bodily assumed into heaven.

  • We end the day at the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu- the house of the high priest of the Jews Caiaphas, where Jesus was imprisoned for the night and where Peter denied our Lord three times, his immediate repentance and his reconciliation with Christ after the Resurrection

  • Dinner and overnight at Notre Dame, Jerusalem.

 

DAY 10 - NOV 12 (TUES) – Mt. Zion, Upper room, Church of Dormition, Tomb of King David, Emmaus

  • After breakfast, we will proceed to Mount Zion/City of David, the highest point in ancient Jerusalem, to visit the Cenacle Room which is the Upper Room of the Last Supper near the Church of Dormition. The Cenacle Room is the site of 2 major events: The Last Supper and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost on the apostles. The Last Supper was the meal Jesus shared with his apostles the night before he died. During this meal, he instituted the Eucharist. The coming of the Holy Spirit, at Pentecost, is recognized as marking the birth of the Christian Church. We will celebrate Holy Mass here.

  • Visit the Church of Dormition Abbey, the Christian traditional place where the Virgin Mary died — or “fell asleep”, as the name suggests.

  • Visit the Tomb of King David - One of the holiest sites for Jews is the building on Mount Zion known as the Tomb of King David, the celebrated Old Testament warrior king of Israel who is traditionally credited with composing many of the Psalms.

  • We will then proceed to enter the Old City thru the Dung Gate and pray at the Western (Wailing) Wall, the holiest place for Jews which is part of the retaining wall erected by Herod the Great. The wall and the plaza in front of it form a permanent place of worship, a site of pilgrimage for Jews and a focus of prayer — Prepare your petitions and place them between the stones on the Wailing Wall. Jews have expressed their grief over the destruction of the Temple, their anguish giving the wall the name — the Wailing Wall.

  • Visit Emmaus, a town mentioned in the Gospel of Luke from the New Testament. Luke reports that Jesus appeared, after his death and resurrection, before two of his disciples while they were walking on the road to Emmaus

  • This is the last day of your guided tour. Say good bye to your guide.

  • We will then have a guided tour on the exhibition of the replica of the Holy Shroud of Turin at Notre Dame

  • Dinner and overnight at Notre Dame, Jerusalem.

 

DAY 11 - NOV 13 (WED) - Mass at Notre Dame; Depart Jerusalem for Jordan: Arrive in Madaba, Mt. Nebo

 

 

 

*** TOUR OF JORDAN ***

DAY 11 - NOV 13 (WED) - Mass at Notre Dame; Depart Jerusalem for Jordan: Arrive in Madaba, Mt. Nebo

  • We will have an early thanksgiving Mass at Notre Dame Chapel

  • After breakfast, prepare to depart Jerusalem for Jordan and cross the Sheik Hussein Bridge border to Jordan (prepare for visa/passport control & security checks) and meet our Jordanian tour guide. Welcome to Jordan!

  • We journey to the biblical town of Madaba. The town is well known for its Byzantine and ancient, most complete mosaic map of Jordan and the Holy Land and for its Greek Orthodox Church of St. George. Here we'll see the earliest original map of the Holy Land. Continue to biblical Mount Nebo from which Moses viewed the Promise Land. Mt. Nebo is believed to be the site of the tomb of Moses, commanding a breathtaking view across the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea.

  • Check-in & dinner in Amman

 

 

DAY 12 - NOV 14 (THURS) -   Nabatean City of Petra (Jordan), Mass in Amman

  • Early morning drive to Petra, a recognized UNESCO World Heritage site. We will drive along the King’s Highway to Wadi Musa – the Jordanian village located at the entrance to the ancient city of Petra.

  • Explore the Nabatean Treasure City of Petra. The 2,000-year old city of Petra, is known as the red rock city, the ancient capital of the Nabateans from the 3rd century B.C. to the 2nd century A.C.. Carved out by the Nabataeans out of solid rock, Petra was forgotten for hundreds of years until it was rediscovered in 1812.

  • Travelers are offered the option to ride a horse from the visitor center to the entrance of the dramatic “Siq” (canyon) about 800m.  From the entrance to the Siq there is 1,250 meters walk to the 1st monument “The Treasury”. Throughout most of the day explore and enjoy Petra’s incredible structures which were meticulously carved out of the rose-colored sandstone; the Treasury, the field of tombs, the Theater, the Court and the Roman Columns in the basin.

  • Late afternoon we will drive north to Amman – Jordan’s capital and celebrate Mass

  • Dinner & Overnight in Amman  

 

DAY 13 - NOV 15 (FRI) – Return to USA

 

  • After breakfast, prepare for your early morning flight departure; Pick-up from your hotel to Jordan airport

  • Arrive in the US next day, go through immigration and customs; Connect to your destination.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAY 1   - Depart USA

From Newark/JFK (base airport) to Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv

 

DAY 2 – Arrive Tel Aviv, Mass at St. Peter’s Church, Jaffa

  • Arrive Tel Aviv in the afternoon. Tour group will be met at the airport and assisted with arrival procedures.

  • Jaffa (Joppa) – Drive to the city of Joppa where the prophet Jonah embarked for his fateful encounter with a whale (Jonah 1:3); Visit the house of Simon the tanner, where Peter went up the rooftop to pray. Enjoy the magnificent view from the hill top.

  • Visit St. Peter’s Church, where the apostle Peter received the crucial vision of accepting the Gentiles into the early Christian Church.

  • Drive to Tiberias for Check-in and dinner at our hotel in Tiberias

  • Late Mass celebration.

 

 

DAY 3 – Mass at Stella Maris Convent, Caesarea Maritima, Stella Maris-Mt. Carmel, Muhraqa, Akko, Tiberias

  • We depart via the coast to Caesarea Maritima, ancient center of Roman governors including Pontius Pilate, where St. Peter baptized the first Gentile convert (Cornelius) and where the Romans held Paul prisoner. Visit the Roman and Crusader ruins, the Crusader City, the well-preserved Theatre, the Harbor, and the Roman Aqueduct.

  • Head towards Haifa through the Carmel Mountains and visit the Stella Maris Convent at Mt. Carmel (the largest Carmelite Monastery)

  • Celebrate Mass at Mount Carmel - we will renew our scapular promises and be invested in the Society of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. (Please bring your own brown Carmelite scapular);

  • Visit Elijah’s cave, where the prophet occasionally lived;

  • Enjoy panoramic views overlooking the city of Haifa & Baha’i Garden

  • Visit Muhraqa (“the Scorching”), the site where Elijah confronted the false priests of Baal (1 Kings 18:17-40).  He challenged the 450 priests to call on fire from Baal to light a sacrifice. As the book of 1 Kings relates, Baal failed to respond to the priests’ cries. Elijah set up his altar and triumphed over the false prophets of Baal, where immediately fire from heaven consumed the offering, even though it had been soaked in water.

  • Then, we will drive to Akko (Acre) where we will tour the Old Crusader city. Walk though the Crusader’s Tunnel and Crusader’s buildings; Visit Khan al-Umdan (Inn of the Pillars) at Akko; Akko was the main stronghold of the Crusaders; the city was visited by St. Francis of Assisi and Marco Polo. Before the Crusaders took Akko in 1104, the city had been captured by Egyptians, Phoenicians, Persians, Greeks and Muslims. St Luke and St Paul visited Akko at the end of Paul’s third missionary journey around AD 58. By then a Christian community was already established. 

  • Drive to Tiberias; Check-in and dinner at our hotel in Tiberias

 

DAY 4 – Mass at Basilica of Annunciation-Nazareth; Holy Family House, Mary’s Well; Mt. of Precipice; Synagogue, Boat Ride at Galilee Sea, Mt. Beatitudes

  • Drive to Nazareth, celebrate Mass at the Basilica of Annunciation – where the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her that she would become the mother of the Son of God; And here Mary uttered her FIAT: “Let it be done to me according to your word.”; The lower level of the Church of the Annunciation enshrines a sunken grotto that contains the traditional cave-home of the Virgin Mary.

  • Visit St. Joseph's Church & cave house of the Holy Family – the church is built over the carpentry workshop of the husband of the Virgin Mary.

  • Visit Mary's Well – where Mary would fetch water for the Holy Family is inside the Church of Angel Gabriel

  • Visit the Synagogue –where Jesus first learned, prayed & later preached as a young man

  • Continue on to Mount of Precipice and enjoy breathtaking views. This is where the angry Jews attempted to throw Jesus off the cliffs and He disappeared before their eyes in the midst of them;

  • Visit Mount Tabor, traditional site of Jesus’ Transfiguration and see the beautiful Basilica and the rock under the altar where the Transfiguration took place. It is here where Jesus’ revealed His Divine Glory to the apostles (Matt 17:2).

  • From here, we will proceed to the Museum of the Ancient Boat and then take a scenic boat ride across the Sea of Galilee. Enjoy the beautiful Sea of Galilee! We will sing and dance to our best to praise and worship our Lord! Jesus was seen walking on this sea.

  • Dinner & Overnight at Tiberias

 

 

DAY 5  – Mass at Cana; Renewal of Marriage Vows; Mount Tabor- Jesus’ Transfiguration; The Public Ministry of Christ in Galilee – Tabgha, Capernaum

  • Mass at the Church of Cana & renewal of marriage vows for married couples, the traditional site of Jesus’ first miracle (changing water into wine during a wedding feast), at the request of Mary. It was here also that He blessed marriage and raised it to the dignity of a sacrament. If you wish, you may renew your marriage vows as a lasting remembrance of this holy site. Wine tasting after Mass.

  • We will then drive to visit Tabgha, the fruitful garden where Jesus fed five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish (Mark 6:30-46), we shall see the magnificent mosaic commemorating the miracle of this multiplication in the nearby Chapel of St. Peter Primacy

  • We will then visit Capernaum, where Peter lived and where Jesus began his public ministry (Matt. 4:13) and performed many miracles. There he began teaching in its Synagogue, cured a leper, healed the centurion’s servant, cast out a demon from a young boy, healed all that were sick (Matt 8:16) and including the fever in Simon Peter's mother-in-law (Luke 4:31-41). This village became Jesus’ adopted home in Galilee (Mark 2:1). This is also the site where He called his first disciples: Peter, Andrew, James, John and Matthew. Three years was the center of Jesus’ public ministry.

  • Visit the Church of Peter’s Primacy (John 21:16). Here on the shore of Galilee, Jesus appeared to the Apostles after His resurrection and confirmed Peter in the role as Vicar of Christ with the words, “Feed My Sheep”.  The rock emerging from the center of the church is the actual table at which they ate breakfast

  • We will then travel south to the Baptismal site of Yardenit on the Jordan River to renew our baptismal vows in the same river where Our Lord was baptized by River (Mark 1:9). Each year, pilgrims from far and wide come to the place of Baptism to immerse themselves in these Holy Waters. The Bible tells us that the children of Israel crossed the River Jordan opposite Jericho when they came to the Promised Land. Naaman, the Syrian dipped in the waters seven times and was cured of his leprosy. Baptismal robes & are available for rent or for sale (additional fee). Baptismal certificate will be given out for those who will renew their baptismal vows

  • Dinner & Overnight at Tiberias

 

 

DAY 6  -  Mass at Bethany beyond Jordan, Masada, Qumran, Floating at Dead Sea

  • After breakfast, check-out from the hotel and drive to Bethany, a favorite rest place and refuge for Jesus & hometown of Mary and Martha, and where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. Here we will celebrate Mass in the Church of St. Lazarus.

  • We drive to Masada to view the fortress by cable car overlooking the Dead Sea which was a symbol of resistance for the people of Israel. Once a palatial refuge for Herod the Great, this massive plateau on the eastern edge of Judean desert is better known as the location of a Roman siege against Jewish rebels. The view across the Dead Sea 450 meters below is spectacular.

  • We continue through the Judean desert and along the western shore of the Dead Sea stopping at Qumran – where the Dead Sea scrolls

  • At the end of the day we will enjoy floating in the mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea, renowned for its minerals and healing properties. Please be sure to bring water/closed end shoes, as the bottom surface can be rough. It is set in the lowest dry land on earth, so it has no outlet. It is so loaded with minerals that no fish can live in it. Enjoy the experience of floating on the Dead Sea.  Also enjoy the Dead Sea mud as facial mask and body rub. It is known for anti-aging, anti-wrinkles, deep cleansing, leaving your skin with a glow of youthfulness and cleanliness.  (Ladies, you can pack a small bottle of Dead Sea mud to bring home if you want.)

  • Check-in at our Hotel at Dead Sea for dinner & overnight

 

DAY 7  –  Jericho, Mount of Temptation, Bethlehem, Mass at Shepherd’s Fields Chapel;

  • After breakfast, we depart for Jericho, the oldest known city in the world conquered by Joshua;

  • Stop by the Sycamore Fig Tree where Zaccheus climbed to see Jesus.

  • Take an optional Camel Ride for a memorable experience and photo shoot with Mt. of Temptation as the backdrop.

  • Depart Jericho and continue on to Bethlehem;

  • We will drive to Shepherd’s Fields where the angels appeared to the shepherds who were watching over their flocks during the night and announced the birth of Jesus. We will celebrate Mass here at Shepherd’s Fields Chapel.

  • We stop by to visit the relics of St. Mariam of Jesus Crucified at the Carmelite Monastery in Bethlehem

  • Check-in at our hotel at Casa Nova, Bethlehem

  • Enjoy a Welcome Dinner treat in a tent restaurant

  • Return to our hotel for overnight.

 

 

DAY 8  – Mass at Church of Nativity, Milk Grotto, Ein Karem, Church of Visitation, Church of John the Baptist

  • After an early breakfast, we will celebrate Holy Mass at St. Jerome’s Chapel inside the Nativity Church

  • After Mass, visit the Grotto of Nativity, the birthplace of our Lord; The place of Christ’s birth is a dimly-lit rock cave. Instead of a star above, a 14-point silver star on the marble floor of the Grotto of the Nativity bears the words “Hic de Virgine Maria Jesus Christus natus est” (Here Jesus Christ was born to the Virgin Mary)

  • Visit Church of St. Catherine (of Alexandra) where Midnight Mass is celebrated. St Catherine was a martyr, tortured and beheaded at the age of 18 by orders of the emperor Maximian (her father) for challenging him on the persecution of Christians and worship of false gods. 

  • Visit the Caves of St. Joseph & St. Jerome - beneath the Church of Nativity, St. Jerome spent 30 years translating the Scriptures from Hebrew and Greek into Latin. The text he produced in St Jerome’s Cave was the first official vernacular version of the Bible. Known as the Vulgate, it remained the authoritative version for Catholics until the 20th century. St. Joseph’s Chapel, is the site in which an angel warned Joseph to take the Holy Family to Egypt;

  • Visit the Milk Grotto. While Mary and Joseph were fleeing Herod’s soldiers on their way to Egypt, they stopped in this cave while Mary nursed the baby Jesus. A drop of Mary’s milk fell upon the stone and it turned white. The grotto has been a shrine of veneration since the 4th century. It is especially frequented by new mothers and women who are trying to conceive. By mixing the soft white chalk with their food, and praying to Our Lady of the Milk, they believe it will increase the quantity of their milk or enable them to become pregnant.

  • We head into the hill country, to the city of Ein Karem, the birthplace of St. John the Baptist, to visit the Church of Visitation where Mary visited the home of Zachariah and Elizabeth, and proclaimed the 'Magnificat' (Luke 1:39-80).

  • Visit the Church of John Baptist, his birthplace.

  • Dinner and overnight at Casa Nova, Bethlehem

 

 

DAY 9  – Jerusalem: Mt. of Olives, Church of Ascension, Church of Pater Noster, Church of Dominus Flevit, Garden of Gethsemane, Mass at Church of All Nations, Rock of Agony, Wailing Wall

  • After early breakfast, we depart Bethlehem and drive to Jerusalem to the top of Mount of Olives for a panoramic view of Jerusalem for a better understanding of its geography and some of the key sites surrounding the area.

  • Visit the Church of the Ascension, the site marking the place where Jesus is believed to have ascended to heaven.

  • Continue to the Church of Pater Noster, where Jesus taught his disciples how to pray the Lord’s Prayer. On walls around the church and its vaulted cloister, translations of the Lord’s Prayer in 140 languages are inscribed on colorful ceramic plaques.

  • Then we walk on the Palm Sunday road; view the Eastern/Golden Gate from the Jewish Cemetery.

  • Continue to walk to the Church of Dominus Flevit, where our Lord wept over the future fate of Jerusalem. Looking down on the city, Jesus wept over it as he prophesied its future destruction.

  • We will continue to walk to the Garden of Gethsemane, containing Olive Trees, the roots of which go back to the time of Jesus.  Adjacent to it is the “Rock of Agony”, where Jesus uttered his last prayer.

  • Visit the Church of All Nations to pray and celebrate mass at the “Rock of Agony” where Jesus prayed alone in the garden on the night of His arrest. Spend some time in reflection and meditation inside the dim lit church. The church is also called the Basilica of Agony.

  • After Mass, we will have a group picture with Old City Jerusalem and the Dome of the Rock on the background.

  • We will visit the Israel Museum to visualize the Old Jerusalem during the peak of its power, and where we will look at the outdoor scale model of the ancient city and also where the Shrine of the Book & Dead Seas Scrolls are on display.

  • Check-in & dinner at Notre Dame, Jerusalem

 

 

DAY 10   – The Passion of Jesus: Via Dolorosa, Mass at Holy Tomb, Holy Sepulcher, Calvary, St. Anne’s Basilica, Pools of Bethesda

 

  • Today, we will start very early morning at 4:30 AM retracing the last steps of Jesus at Via Dolorosa (Way of the Cross) at the Judgment Hall, Antonia Fortress, where Jesus was condemned to death by Pontius Pilate. From there He was taken through the city to be crucified. We reflect on the greatness of his sacrifice as He bore the burden of our sins on the Cross at Golgotha. We will stop at each of the Fourteen Stations of the Cross: Chapel of Condemnation & Flagellation, Ecce Homo (Crowning of Thorns), the Polish Chapel, Armenian Catholic Chapel, Veronica’s House, etc.  until we reach the Church of Holy Sepulcher.  The Stations of the Cross lead, through the markets of the Old City to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

  • After the Stations of the Cross, we will have an early morning Mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher at the Holy Tomb.

  • After Mass, we will tour the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which houses: Calvary/Golgotha, Rock of Calvary, the Burial Tomb of Jesus, Stone of Anointing, Chapel of St. Helena, Chapel of Adam, Chapel of the Nailing of the Cross, Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene, Chapel of Flagellation Column, etc..  Spend some time here for prayer and reflection.

  • We will return to the hotel for breakfast.

  • After breakfast, we will visit St. Anne’s Church, the birthplace of the Virgin Mary and the home of her parents Saints Joachim and Anne.

  • Visit the Pools of Bethesda next to the Church, which is the scene of one of Jesus’ miracles, the healing of the paralyzed man who had waited for 38 years for someone to help him into the pool “when the water is stirred” an event believed to have curative powers. The Gospel account says Jesus told the man, “Stand up, take your mat and walk”, and immediately he was made well (John 5:2-18).

  • Visit the Tomb of Mary - a large crypt containing the empty tomb of Mary is inside the dimly lit Church of the Assumption. The name of the Church of the Assumption reflects the Christian belief that Mary was bodily assumed into heaven.

  • We end the day at the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu- the house of the high priest of the Jews Caiaphas, where Jesus was imprisoned for the night and where Peter denied our Lord three times, his immediate repentance and his reconciliation with Christ after the Resurrection

  • Dinner and overnight at Notre Dame, Jerusalem.

 

 

DAY 11  – Mt. Zion, Upper room, Church of Dormition, Tomb of King David, Emmaus

 

  • After breakfast, we will proceed to Mount Zion/City of David, the highest point in ancient Jerusalem, to visit the Cenacle Room which is the Upper Room of the Last Supper near the Church of Dormition. The Cenacle Room is the site of 2 major events: The Last Supper and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost on the apostles. The Last Supper was the meal Jesus shared with his apostles the night before he died. During this meal, he instituted the Eucharist. The coming of the Holy Spirit, at Pentecost, is recognized as marking the birth of the Christian Church. We will celebrate Holy Mass here.

  • Visit the Church of Dormition Abbey, the Christian traditional place where the Virgin Mary died — or “fell asleep”, as the name suggests.

  • Visit the Tomb of King David - One of the holiest sites for Jews is the building on Mount Zion known as the Tomb of King David, the celebrated Old Testament warrior king of Israel who is traditionally credited with composing many of the Psalms.

  • We will then proceed to enter the Old City thru the Dung Gate and pray at the Western (Wailing) Wall, the holiest place for Jews which is part of the retaining wall erected by Herod the Great. The wall and the plaza in front of it form a permanent place of worship, a site of pilgrimage for Jews and a focus of prayer — Prepare your petitions and place them between the stones on the Wailing Wall. Jews have expressed their grief over the destruction of the Temple, their anguish giving the wall the name — the Wailing Wall.

  • Visit Emmaus, a town mentioned in the Gospel of Luke from the New Testament. Luke reports that Jesus appeared, after his death and resurrection, before two of his disciples while they were walking on the road to Emmaus

  • This is the last day of your guided tour. Say good bye to your guide.

  • We will then have a guided tour on the exhibition of the replica of the Holy Shroud of Turin at Notre Dame

  • Dinner and overnight at Notre Dame, Jerusalem.

 

DAY 12  -  Mass at Notre Dame;  Depart Jerusalem for Jordan: Madaba, Mt. Nebo

*** TOUR TO JORDAN ***

  • We will have an early thanksgiving Mass at Notre Dame Chapel

  • After breakfast, prepare to depart Jerusalem for Jordan and cross the Sheik Hussein Bridge border to Jordan (prepare for visa/passport control & security checks) and meet our Jordanian tour guide. Welcome to Jordan!

  • We journey to the biblical town of Madaba. The town is well known for its Byzantine and ancient, most complete mosaic map of Jordan and the Holy Land and for its Greek Orthodox Church of St. George. Here we'll see the earliest original map of the Holy Land. Continue to biblical Mount Nebo from which Moses viewed the Promise Land. Mt. Nebo is believed to be the site of the tomb of Moses, commanding a breathtaking view across the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea.

  • Check-in & dinner in Amman

 

DAY 13  -   Nabatean City of Petra (Jordan), Mass in Amman

  • Early morning drive to Petra, a recognized UNESCO World Heritage site. We will drive along the King’s Highway to Wadi Musa – the Jordanian village located at the entrance to the ancient city of Petra.

  • Explore the Nabatean Treasure City of Petra. The 2,000-year old city of Petra, is known as the red rock city, the ancient capital of the Nabateans from the 3rd century B.C. to the 2nd century A.C.. Carved out by the Nabataeans out of solid rock, Petra was forgotten for hundreds of years until it was rediscovered in 1812.

  • Travelers are offered the option to ride a horse from the visitor center to the entrance of the dramatic “Siq” (canyon) about 800m.  From the entrance to the Siq there is 1,250 meters walk to the 1st monument “The Treasury”. Throughout most of the day explore and enjoy Petra’s incredible structures which were meticulously carved out of the rose-colored sandstone; the Treasury, the field of tombs, the Theater, the Court and the Roman Columns in the basin.

  • Late afternoon we will drive north to Amman – Jordan’s capital and celebrate Mass

  • Dinner & Overnight in Amman  

 

 

DAY 14  – Return to USA

 

  • After breakfast, prepare for your early morning flight departure; Pick-up from your hotel to Jordan airport

  • Arrive in the US next day, go through immigration and customs; Connect to your final destination.

Under the Spiritual Direction of : TBD

A 13-Day Catholic Pilgrimage to the Holy Land & Jordan

November 03 - 15, 2019 - Fr. Carmelo Diola

Copyright © 2017 by Amazing Travels, LLC

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May pilgrimage be an impetus to a pilgrim's conversion and aspire to grow in holiness so that we may come and see Our Father in heaven....  Pope Francis